Lent and the Fast: Giving It Up?

Fasnachts are in all the Lancaster County ads these days. If you aren’t familiar with fasnachts, you’re not from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Fasnachts are the fried donuts sold on Shrove (or Fat) Tuesday so you can eat up before the deprivation of Lent starts on Ash Wednesday. The local grocery store even adds a fasnacht drive-through for the day.

Do you give up anything for Lent? I haven’t yet decided to do so this year, although there are a few days to decide. In the past I’ve given up a variety of things—chocolate, sweets, computer games, for example. I read that Lauren Winner once had someone advise her to give up reading anything but the Bible for Lent—no books, no magazines, no newspapers. I can’t imagine.

One Lent I gave up buying clothes. It wasn’t easy. And so this article on Today’s Christian Woman really caught my attention. Margot Starbuck talks of committing to not buy clothing for a year. That’s a long time. She honestly reveals the withdrawal symptoms and rationalization that came storming into her mind as she tried to live without. And she talked about the lessons learned.

Still, a year is a long time.

Would you ever do it? Why or why not?

Are you giving up anything for Lent? Or adding a behavior so you develop a new positive habit? Share it with the rest of us, and be sure to let us know what you learned when the experiment is over!

Or maybe your only Lenten decision is to score a fasnacht on Tuesday. If so, enjoy every bite. And thank God for providing it!

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